Leytonstone Residents let down by politicians over decision to allow continued expansion of City Airport

At a recent FORA committee meeting anger and disappointment from local residents was sadly noted as ministers gave the green light for the latest set of expansion proposals for London City Airport. See the following article in The Guardian

Since the concentration of City Airport flight paths directly over Leytonstone aircraft noise has significantly reduced the quality of life of people living in East London. The further increases agreed in July will only make the problem worse.

Anti airport expansion campaigners have made the following points:-

  • Airports should not be based in cities
  • Aircraft noise pollution has serious negative health effects
  • Aircraft particle emissions are harmful to human health
  • Increased air travel is not environmentally sustainable
  • Our country needs a strategic transport strategy written by a responsible government able to think ahead

For more information on the impact of aircraft noise on human health see some recent research from Professor Stephen Stansfeld from Queen Mary College University of London

If you would like to find out more or join the campaign to stop the growth of airports in cities see the following links

If you do not live under one of London City Airport’s flight paths and want to know what it is like see the following video we made in May 2016.

 

 

Preservation of the Leytonstone Conservation Area

The Leytonstone Conservation Area is now under threat from unsuitable planning applications and the serious neglect of a listed building. Council officers do not appear to see the bigger picture, and how they could individually and collectively lead to erosion of the character and appearance of the area.

The neglected building is a Grade II Georgian house at 133 Whipps Cross Road. Historic England has now put it on its “At Risk” Register. It describes the condition as poor and deteriorating. An application was made in 2006 to convert it into flats but was rejected by the Council.

https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/heritage-at-risk/search-register/list-entry/1287284

The spate of new planning applications should be viewed in light of Conservation Area law and local planning policy. By law, no development should be allowed in a Conservation Area if it does not enhance or preserve the character and appearance of the area. Special Planning Guidance issued by the Council says it believes conversions of houses into flats in Conservation Areas are contrary to these objectives and it will normally presume against them.  Forest Ward, in which the Conservation Area lies, has also been designated as one of the borough’s Restricted Conversions zones by the Council. This means planning permission should not normally be granted for any family house in the zone to be converted into flats, because the council wants to retain family-sized accommodation in those areas. Residents know, however, that planning decisions can sometimes be a hit-or-miss affair, and law and planning policy are not always logically applied.

An application has been made to extend the listed house adjacent to that on the “At Risk” register. It is 135 Whipps Cross Road, also Georgian and Grade II listed. The owners want to build a ground and first floor extension including loft conversion with rear dormer window. The plan incorporates the conversion of the property from three self-contained flats to five self-contained flats. The creation of the existing three flats was allowed some years before the Council designated it a Conservation Area in 1990.                                                                                                   Application Reference number 161148

Close to these two Georgian houses, still in the Conservation area, there is an unused piece of land to the rear of 111- 117 Whipps Cross Road. Yet another application has been submitted to build what’s called a bungalow on it. Similar applications have been rejected in the past. This was for good reasons including the position and small size of the land, its limited access and threat to protected trees. In 2012, permission for two bungalows was refused. In 2013, permission for one bungalow was refused, and this was again later refused on appeal. The latest application is for the construction on the land of a “two-storey, 2 bedroom bungalow”. The land backs on to houses on Fladgate Road. One resident there has looked up the Oxford Dictionary definition of bungalow. It says “A low house having only one storey or, in some cases, upper rooms set in the roof, typically with dormer windows.”

Application Reference number 161666

Applications that most blatantly go against the intention and spirit of Conservation law and local policy have been made to convert a family home at 20 Forest Glade into flats. Forest Glade is one of the most prominent and best- preserved roads in the Conservation Area. One application is for an extension to convert the house into two self-contained flats, another is for an extension to convert it into 4 self-contained flats. There is also a separate extension application. The applicant makes it clear that he is aware of the Conservation Area and local policy restrictions on flat conversions of family homes, but seeks to downplay their relevance in this case.

Application Reference numbers 161007, 161008,161092 

Please go to the council website if you wish to comment on any of the applications.

Plenty of food and food for thought at FORA AGM

Forest Residents Association AGM and 10th birthday celebration got off to a great start with an excellent meal provided by the Star of India.

FORA Committee Members Najma, Frances and Tony make sure nobody goes hungry

Epping Forest Constable Ian Greer answering residents questions about Hollow Ponds

Epping Forest Constable Ian Greer answering residents questions about Hollow Ponds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporation of London Epping Forest Constables Ian Greer and Martin Whitfield gave a fantastic talk on managing the forest. They shared their many years experience and knowledge of the special nature of the forest land and the management plans in place to safeguard its future. They took time to answer the many questions local residents had for them while explaining recent developments and plans.

John Stewart and Rob Barnstone

John Stewart and Rob Barnstone

John Stewart and Robert Barnstone from HACAN East talking to Leytonstone residents who are living under City Airport’s flight paths about campaigning to stop city airport. John and Rob explained the current consultation and the airport’s plans to grow further. Their talk was followed by a lively discussion of how to gain support for residents and HACAN from politicians and decision makers.

 

FORA is 10 years old this year. The occasion was celebrated by an overview of FORA’s achievements by Chair Vaseem Gill who also highlighted the 10 events FORA ran last year and forthcoming events planned for this year.  New and long serving FORA members shared drinks and cake to celebrate our first 10 years.

AGM Cake

We would like to thank all those who attended with special thanks to Cllr Shabana Dhedhi, Cllr Gerry Lyons, Writer John Rogers, Epping Forest Constables Ian Greer and Martin Whitfield, HACAN East campaigners John Stewart and Robert Barnstone for contributing to the event. A big thank you also to FORA committee members June, Alan, Frances, Najma, Tony, Martin, Heather, Trevor and Vaseem for planning, organising and delivering this excellent event.

Aircraft Noise over Leytonstone Residents Angry

Flight Noise Meeting

Discussions went on long after the meeting ended

Meeting in Leytonstone

On Friday 22nd April 2016 Leytonstone residents met at the Epicentre with representatives of HACAN East and local MP John Cryer to discuss the issue of increased aircraft noise over Leytonstone. The meeting was well attended and included some lively discussion.

Map of New Concentrated City Airport Flight Paths over Leytonstone

Map of New Concentrated City Airport Flight Paths over Leytonstone

Background to Aircraft Noise Issue

Since opening in 1988 London City Airport has grown dramatically. Passenger numbers and flight numbers have increased even more sharply over the past year. In the last year City Airport has grown faster than any other London airport. In February 2016 the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and Newham Council, despite objections from local residents, granted City Airport the right to concentrate flight paths. Tragically, for residents of Leytonstone, and other parts of East London, this has resulted in almost continuous aircraft noise from low flying aircraft overhead. Aircraft from City Airport have to keep beneath the higher flight paths reserved for Heathrow and Stansted which also over-fly Leytonstone. This makes them very noisy in this heavily populated area. Indeed London Borough of Waltham Forest is the 3rd most over-flown of the 33 London Boroughs after Hounslow and Richmond. CAA has stipulated that City Airport conduct a consultation with local residents within a year of the operation of the new concentrated flight paths.  This consultation must be completed by February 2017.

In addition to the increase in flights and the concentration of the flight path over Leytonstone City Airport has requested permission to fly further (e.g. Istanbul and Moscow) and also to use larger aircraft. CAA is currently considering this request and will announce it’s decision over the summer.

What you can do

If you feel strongly about this you can:-

Robert Barnstone from HACAN East will be attending FORA’s meeting on 14th May 2016 at St Andrew’s Church. He will give a short talk and will be available for questions afterwards.

FORA plants wildflowers at Tesco Leytonstone

Volunteers from FORA cleared away litter and planted wildflowers in a flowerbed outside Tesco Leytonstone today (Sat 30th Jan). The idea is part of FORA’s campaign to improve the area as a place to live and work.  Planting wildflowers increases the bio-diversity of the area and is particularly helpful in increasing numbers of bees and butterflies. More plants also help to improve air quality, a major issue in our area as it is bisected by the A12 link road.

FORA Volunteers hard at work

FORA Volunteers hard at work

Wildflower seeds were provided as part of the Grow Wild Campaign led by the Royal Horticultural Society. We are also grateful to Tesco who support us in our efforts to tidy up and improve the area.

We hope you enjoy the wildflowers as they appear through the spring and summer. If you would like to find out more about our events and activities, see our events page or our current campaigns page or get in touch via info.fora@hotmail.com or add a comment below.

There was a lot of litter to pick up in this busy spot

There was a lot of litter to pick up in this busy spot